U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Accuses Trump Administration of Civil Rights Violations in its Migrant Policies

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently released a 200-page report that raises significant concerns about the policies of the Trump Administration concerning migrants, family separation, detention, and asylum. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as a bipartisan fact-finding agency whose purpose is to provide information about national civil rights policy.

In 2015, the Commission issued guidance to DHS and HHS about troubling conditions at the border that potentially violated civil rights. Both DHS and HHS failed to implement any of their recommendations.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Accuses Trump Administration of Civil Rights Violations
in its Migrant Policies

In its new report, the Commission concluded that current federal immigration policies likely have violated the due process and civil rights of many immigrants and created an unnecessary crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border. Although the Commission sought data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to compile its report, neither agency responded. As a result, the Commission based its findings on public testimony, media and government reports, and legal documents.

The report focuses specifically on the damage caused by the 2018 zero-tolerance policy that results in widespread family separations. Based on statements from the American Psychiatric Association, the Commission concluded that the policies likely caused long-term and potentially irreversible childhood trauma to migrant children. These conclusions mirror those that the HHS Office of Inspector General made in a September 2019 report. Both reports also focused on the dangers to immigrants in substandard, overcrowded, and unsanitary detention conditions.

Two members of the Commission, including the lone Republican and an independent member, dissented from the report. They pointed out the lack of research that went into creating the report, alleging that no member of the Commission visited a detention facility in preparing the report.

No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.

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